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Waiting game continues for share of proposed $641 million Flint water settlement

Take a look at what you need to know and what’s next in the civil water litigation.
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:29 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/23/2020) - The City of Flint held an informational session Monday in an effort to clear up questions surrounding the proposed Flint Water Settlement.

Last week the City, McLaren Hospital and ROWE Pro Services agreed to join the proposed settlement.

That pushes the total number of dollars available to Flint families to $641.2 million.

To get a share of this money, people who lived in Flint during the water crisis do not need to do anything just yet.

The next step is a judge ruling the lawsuit is fair. Once that happens, people will be asked to register to participate.

Then you’ll have time to file a claim.

“It’s not gonna happen tomorrow. It’s gonna take a little bit of time to process the tens of thousands of claims,” Attorney Sheldon Klein of the Butzel Long law firm explained.

He and three other City of Flint attorneys spent about an hour Monday detailing what this civil settlement entails and why it’s broken up the way it is.

If approved, Flint kids will be awarded the largest amount of the more civil settlement based on their age at the time of the water crisis.

“It is scientifically true that children suffer far greater loss of functionality as a result of lead poisoning than adults do. And so, the worst harmed are going to be the people who receive the most compensation,” Attorney Rick Berg, of the Butzel Long law firm added.

The City’s attorneys estimate adults will receive a little more than $115 million of the total amount of money.

But adults have to prove that during the water crisis they owned property in Flint, paid their water bills or were personally injured as a result of using the water.

The City also made it clear that if council votes to approve the City’s participation in the settlement,  the $20-million the Flint is expected to contribute will not be taxpayer money.

Several people are anxious to hear exactly how much money they’ll receive. City Attorney Angela Wheeler said it depends on how many participate.

“So kind of think about it like a pie and the more people that make a claim, the thinner each slice is going to be,” she said.

Attorneys will also need to be paid. How much is actually up to the federal judge.

Click here for the state’s website, providing answers to frequently asked questions and a look at the settlement for yourself.

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